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Public Safety

Two Children Drown In Swimming Pool

The 2-year-old boy who was found unconscious along with his year-old sister in a La Mesa backyard pool, has died, sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

The children's mother and a male companion showed up at La Mesa Fire Station 13 at 10 a.m. Monday, seeking help for the stricken children, according to sheriff's officials. Shortly after arriving, the man left for unknown reasons, Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said. It was later learned that the mother and the children were staying at the companion's La Mesa home.

Medics tried to revive the victims at the station, then took them to Sharp Grossmont Hospital, where the girl was pronounced dead. The boy was taken to Rady Children's Hospital for more intensive care. He was pronounced dead at 11:25 p.m. Monday.


The San Diego Sheriff's Department said in a statement that while there is no evidence of foul play related to the children's death, an investigation is ongoing and the District Attorney's Office will determine if any criminal charges will be filed.

The mother told investigators she woke up about 9:30 a.m. and could not locate her children. She then went outside and found them in the pool.

The woman initially told investigators the incident had occurred at a mobile-home park in the 10700 block of Jamacha Boulevard in Spring Valley, but later admitted it happened at a home in the 10000 block of Sunset Avenue in La Mesa.

"She said she initially gave the wrong location because she didn't want her friend who lives at the residence to get in trouble for not having a fence around the pool," Giannantonio said.

During a search of the house -- where the mother and her children had been staying for several days -- deputies came across a marijuana-cultivation setup in a basement area and called in Narcotics Task Force personnel to investigate, he said.


The resident of the Sunset Avenue home was arrested. Larry Dangelo booked on charges of possession of marijuana for sale, damaging a power line, cultivation of marijuana and grad theft. DEA agents confiscated marijuana plants from the home.

As the man was being taken to a patrol vehicle, reporters asked him why he did not call an ambulance for the children.

10News reporter Itica Milanes heard him mumble, "I didn't have a phone."

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